David (Sun. (6), Tues.(8), 8-10 p.m., TNT) Filmed in Morocco by Lube Prods., in association with Lux Vide, Betafilm, RAI Uno and Turner Pictures. Executive producer, Gerald Rafshoon; producer, Lorenzo Minoli; line producers, Paolo Piria , Paolo Lucidi; director, Robert Markowitz; writer, Larry Gross; camera, Raffaele Mertes; editors, David Beatty, Paul Rubell; production designer, Paolo Biagetti; sound, Bernard Bats; music, Carlo Siliotto; end-title theme, Ennio Morricone; casting, Jeremy Zimmermann, Cornelia Von Braun, Ahmed Boulane. Running time: 4 hours. Cast: Nathaniel Parker, Jonathan Pryce, Leonard Nimoy, Sheryl Lee, Ben Daniels, Gideon Turner, Richard Ashcroft, Maurice Roeves, Dominic Rowan, Edward Hall, Clara Bellar, Gina Bellman, Franco Nero, Mohamad Belfikh, John Francis, Peter-Hugo Daly, Lina Sastri, Peter Woodthrope, Marco Leonardi, Luke Elliott, Giorgio Francesco Palombi, Sara Stockbridge, Freddy Douglas, Angelo Infanti, Lazali Abdelahk, Bruce Purchase, Emilio Doorasingh, Joseph Long, Bev Willis, Paul Angelis, Said Amel, Rachid Fekkak, Zaki Houari, Mahjoub Raji, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazzani, Francesca Bartellini, Ahmed Boulane, Mohamed Razine, Jeremy Peters, Peter Mair, Mohamed Bastaoui, Salah Benmoussa, Peter Birrel, Zakaria Atifi, Benamar el Hachmi, Tim Woodward, Mohamed Bensouda, Adil Abdelwahab, Mohamed Tsouli, Abdellah Lamrani, Mohamed Khaddy, Younes Migri, Adil Besri, Mustapha Salamat, Mohamed Besri, Roger Hammond, Alan Parnaby. Before the four-hour miniseries "David" has concluded, one man orders the murder of his brother; another sends the husband of a woman he covets to certain death in a battle. Viewers are exposed to non-consensual incest, witchcraft and the sight of several women in a hot tub. When a powerful ruler orders a subordinate to return with the foreskins of 100 dead enemy troops in return for the hand of his daughter, the subordinate returns with twice that number. But don't expect the self-appointed guardians of America's morality to set up too much of a howl about this one: It is, after all, drawn --- foreskins and all --- from the Old Testament. The sixth of Turner's biblical epics, co-financed with German and Italian money, "David" combines a terrific story (see elements listed above); postcard-like Middle Eastern locations lit by Raffaele Mertes; sharp direction by Robert Markowitz and editing by David Beatty and Paul Rubell; strong performances throughout; and a Larry Gross script that doesn't take itself too seriously --- sort of as if Cecil B. DeMille were handed an episode of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys." First two hours concentrate on story of Saul (Jonathan Pryce), poor man chosen (much to his surprise) by God to unite the tribes of Israel. Saul screws up and is reprimanded by prophet Samuel (Leonard Nimoy), who journeys back into the desert to find God's next choice, the shepherd David (Gideon Turner). By the end of part one, David has taken over, showing all signs of becoming a worthy ruler. As part two begins, Pryce and Nimoy's characters are long gone, and David (played as an adult by Nathaniel Parker) sends valiant soldier Uriah (Marco Leonardi) into battle, giving the king a better shot at Uriah's comely wife, Bathsheba (Sheryl Lee), against the warning of new adviser Nathan (Franco Nero). Subplot of second half involves three of David's children: warrior Absalom (Dominic Rowan), intellectual Amnon (Edward Hall) and toothsome daughter Tamar (Clara Bellar). Things do not work out at all well here. A climactic battle scene finds troops ambushing their opponents by dropping out of trees like Ewoks, and includes the death of one of David's sons, anticipating that of Isadora Duncan by a couple of millennia. The story comes straight from ISamuel, though scripter Gross dismisses some characters (no Jehoshaphat here), embellishes some situations, gives short shrift to David's skills as a poet and musician (although he does get to write the 23rd Psalm), and uses modern, almost slangy dialogue: A search of the King James version of the Bible fails to locate such lines as "I can't believe I'm hearing this rubbish!," or "What will you use to kill Goliath --- harsh language?," both of which work quite well here. Story could be clearer at times, but overall, "David" is that rarity, a highly entertaining epic.

David (Sun. (6), Tues.(8), 8-10 p.m., TNT) Filmed in Morocco by Lube Prods., in association with Lux Vide, Betafilm, RAI Uno and Turner Pictures. Executive producer, Gerald Rafshoon; producer, Lorenzo Minoli; line producers, Paolo Piria , Paolo Lucidi; director, Robert Markowitz; writer, Larry Gross; camera, Raffaele Mertes; editors, David Beatty, Paul Rubell; production designer, Paolo Biagetti; sound, Bernard Bats; music, Carlo Siliotto; end-title theme, Ennio Morricone; casting, Jeremy Zimmermann, Cornelia Von Braun, Ahmed Boulane. Running time: 4 hours. Cast: Nathaniel Parker, Jonathan Pryce, Leonard Nimoy, Sheryl Lee, Ben Daniels, Gideon Turner, Richard Ashcroft, Maurice Roeves, Dominic Rowan, Edward Hall, Clara Bellar, Gina Bellman, Franco Nero, Mohamad Belfikh, John Francis, Peter-Hugo Daly, Lina Sastri, Peter Woodthrope, Marco Leonardi, Luke Elliott, Giorgio Francesco Palombi, Sara Stockbridge, Freddy Douglas, Angelo Infanti, Lazali Abdelahk, Bruce Purchase, Emilio Doorasingh, Joseph Long, Bev Willis, Paul Angelis, Said Amel, Rachid Fekkak, Zaki Houari, Mahjoub Raji, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazzani, Francesca Bartellini, Ahmed Boulane, Mohamed Razine, Jeremy Peters, Peter Mair, Mohamed Bastaoui, Salah Benmoussa, Peter Birrel, Zakaria Atifi, Benamar el Hachmi, Tim Woodward, Mohamed Bensouda, Adil Abdelwahab, Mohamed Tsouli, Abdellah Lamrani, Mohamed Khaddy, Younes Migri, Adil Besri, Mustapha Salamat, Mohamed Besri, Roger Hammond, Alan Parnaby. Before the four-hour miniseries “David” has concluded, one man orders the murder of his brother; another sends the husband of a woman he covets to certain death in a battle. Viewers are exposed to non-consensual incest, witchcraft and the sight of several women in a hot tub. When a powerful ruler orders a subordinate to return with the foreskins of 100 dead enemy troops in return for the hand of his daughter, the subordinate returns with twice that number. But don’t expect the self-appointed guardians of America’s morality to set up too much of a howl about this one: It is, after all, drawn — foreskins and all — from the Old Testament. The sixth of Turner’s biblical epics, co-financed with German and Italian money, “David” combines a terrific story (see elements listed above); postcard-like Middle Eastern locations lit by Raffaele Mertes; sharp direction by Robert Markowitz and editing by David Beatty and Paul Rubell; strong performances throughout; and a Larry Gross script that doesn’t take itself too seriously — sort of as if Cecil B. DeMille were handed an episode of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.” First two hours concentrate on story of Saul (Jonathan Pryce), poor man chosen (much to his surprise) by God to unite the tribes of Israel. Saul screws up and is reprimanded by prophet Samuel (Leonard Nimoy), who journeys back into the desert to find God’s next choice, the shepherd David (Gideon Turner). By the end of part one, David has taken over, showing all signs of becoming a worthy ruler. As part two begins, Pryce and Nimoy’s characters are long gone, and David (played as an adult by Nathaniel Parker) sends valiant soldier Uriah (Marco Leonardi) into battle, giving the king a better shot at Uriah’s comely wife, Bathsheba (Sheryl Lee), against the warning of new adviser Nathan (Franco Nero). Subplot of second half involves three of David’s children: warrior Absalom (Dominic Rowan), intellectual Amnon (Edward Hall) and toothsome daughter Tamar (Clara Bellar). Things do not work out at all well here. A climactic battle scene finds troops ambushing their opponents by dropping out of trees like Ewoks, and includes the death of one of David’s sons, anticipating that of Isadora Duncan by a couple of millennia. The story comes straight from ISamuel, though scripter Gross dismisses some characters (no Jehoshaphat here), embellishes some situations, gives short shrift to David’s skills as a poet and musician (although he does get to write the 23rd Psalm), and uses modern, almost slangy dialogue: A search of the King James version of the Bible fails to locate such lines as “I can’t believe I’m hearing this rubbish!,” or “What will you use to kill Goliath — harsh language?,” both of which work quite well here. Story could be clearer at times, but overall, “David” is that rarity, a highly entertaining epic.

David

Sun. (6), Tues.(8), 8-10 p.m., TNT

Production

Filmed in Morocco by Lube Prods., in association with Lux Vide, Betafilm, RAI Uno and Turner Pictures. Executive producer, Gerald Rafshoon; producer, Lorenzo Minoli; line producers, Paolo Piria, Paolo Lucidi; director, Robert Markowitz; writer, Larry Gross

Cast

Cast: Nathaniel Parker, Jonathan Pryce, Leonard Nimoy, Sheryl Lee, Ben Daniels, Gideon Turner, Richard Ashcroft, Maurice Roeves, Dominic Rowan, Edward Hall, Clara Bellar, Gina Bellman, Franco Nero, Mohamad Belfikh, John Francis, Peter-Hugo Daly, Lina Sastri, Peter Woodthrope, Marco Leonardi, Luke Elliott, Giorgio Francesco Palombi, Sara Stockbridge, Freddy Douglas, Angelo Infanti, Lazali Abdelahk, Bruce Purchase, Emilio Doorasingh, Joseph Long, Bev Willis, Paul Angelis, Said Amel, Rachid Fekkak, Zaki Houari, Mahjoub Raji, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazzani, Francesca Bartellini, Ahmed Boulane, Mohamed Razine, Jeremy Peters, Peter Mair, Mohamed Bastaoui, Salah Benmoussa, Peter Birrel, Zakaria Atifi, Benamar el Hachmi, Tim Woodward, Mohamed Bensouda, Adil Abdelwahab, Mohamed Tsouli, Abdellah Lamrani, Mohamed Khaddy, Younes Migri, Adil Besri, Mustapha Salamat, Mohamed Besri, Roger Hammond, Alan Parnaby.
Camera, Raffaele Mertes; editors, David Beatty, Paul Rubell; production designer, Paolo Biagetti; sound, Bernard Bats; music, Carlo Siliotto; end-title theme, Ennio Morricone; casting, Jeremy Zimmermann, Cornelia Von Braun, Ahmed Boulane. Running time: 4 hours.
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